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A mid-season squad appraisal

Filed: Monday, 25th February 2019
By: Alex V

Here's my (early) appraisal of the current West Ham United squad with a 'valuation' for each player - ie. what in my view would be an acceptable bid that the club should strongly consider accepting...

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Adrián (GK, 32)
In a way, another year of solid back-up might suit us as there's no young 'keeper breaking through - but I doubt Adrián would want that. Thanks for a good six years!
Sale Value: Out of Contract

Felipe Anderson (LW, 26)
A qualified success I think - sometimes our best player, always a threat, often anonymous. He's a bit of a luxury and hard to build a team around and I'm not sure who else would really want that. I think he stays, but I'd take our money back in a heartbeat.
Sale Value: £25m

Michail Antonio (RW, 29)
Antonio has been on my 'sell' list for a while, but the current roster of forwards is so flimsy his brand of physicality is currently essential to the side. So you do have to be careful - if you sell he needs properly replacing.
Sale Value: £16m

Marko Arnautovic (FW, 30)
My guess is his star has fallen enough that there won't be sufficient interest in the Summer to get the sort of fee we want. January was a disaster all round and completely mis-managed. I think we'll be stuck with him, but I'd take less to just move on.
Sale Value: £15m

Fabian Balbuena (CB, 27)
There's little dispute the defence looks better with Balbuena in it; at his age he should be pretty much at his peak as a defender. Hopefully he is settled at the club. With two years on his current deal, I wonder if the club might consider a new four-year deal once proven fit?
Sale Value: £25m

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Sam Byram RB, 25)
Byram has 12 months left on his contract, whilst another season has been ruined by injury. It's sad for a player who I think had good potential and is actually listed as returning to fitness mid-August. Do you consider paying off his deal just so he can find a new club before the window shuts?
Sale Value: Nominal

Andy Carroll (FW, 30)
I've said before I could still see a use for Carroll as a late sub if he agreed a reduced wage to stay. But it hasn't happened so I only see one outcome. His contract marks a sad era of wasted opportunity for the club.
Sale Value: Out of Contract

Aaron Cresswell (LB, 29)
Cresswell lands pretty clearly in the 'useful' category - a homegrown player, solid and probably a good senior influence at the club. The days where he might command a top fee in the market are probably gone; he has two years remaining on his contract, I think he plays them out.
Sale Value: £15m

Josh Cullen (CM, 23)
Cullen is a great advert for why long-term loans are such a waste of time. He's done well at every club he's gone to, but is no closer to the West Ham United first team. He'd need a senior slot and a new contract for us to persevere. Sadly time is up - a waste of a good talent.
Sale Value: Out of Contract

Grady Diangana (RW, 21)
Frustratingly he isn't getting enough exposure to build on his early promise in the side. Obviously given his age and low wage we'd be happy to let him continue his development. But I think there's also a 'right price' to move him on and bring the next youngster in.
Sale Value: £12m

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Issa Diop (CB, 22)
I'm not as hot on his form as others, our defence has been a shambles at times and he's still learning his trade. So if the market is much hotter on him than I am, the club should favour a sale at the right price.
Sale Value: £35m

Lukasz Fabianski (GK, 34)
You'd expect Lukasz to be well into veteran decline which makes him unappealing to suitors, although he has clearly been a solid first choice for us. So I just don't see a deal that we would ever want to accept.
Sale Value: Nominal

Edimilson Fernandes (CM, 23)
Just 12 months remain on his contract so there are very few options for the club. Fiorentina have the option to buy anyway and he is featuring for them in Serie A. I think the loan was a huge mistake from us and he would have played and maybe flourished under Pellegrini. Sale Value: £6m

Ryan Fredericks (RB, 26)
It's been a tough start for Ryan at West Ham, and at nearly 27 that pace might start to fade. If he stays then fine, he's got the ability - but I think the club could look to quickly cash in and go for a complete overhaul at right back. It's been a problem position.
Sale Value: £10m

Javier Hernandez (FW, 30)
He'll be 31 in June and I don't honestly understand why he's still at the club. What is the real benefit? It's so difficult to build around him. We have to move on and shift those wages and I'd give him away on a free just to achieve that.
Sale Value: Nominal

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Jordan Hugill (FW, 26)
27 in June. A weird one - he's doing well in the Championship for 'Boro, so I'd guess we'd get our money back if they want to buy. But shouldn't we give a forward who has a recent history of very good form a chance in our team?
Sale Value: £12m

Manuel Lanzini (AM, 26)
A really tough spot - and his contract is up in 2020. Does the club have an option to extend? If not you have to either get him to sign a new deal or are forced to sell cheap this Summer! Is he fully fit? It's up in the air. If fit he's still a potential £40m+ player!
Sale Value: £40m

Arthur Masuaku (LB, 25)
I still think he's a serious talent, but it hasn't worked out. And with 12 months on his deal we pretty much have to sell. Buyers will know this and it might have to be a cut-price sale. I think it could have been managed better.
Sale Value: £6m

Samir Nasri (AM, 31)
32 in June, Nasri is out of contract this Summer but we have an option to extend. A tough choice - he has quality still, but fitness has been an issue and obviously given his age he's pretty much at the end of his career. I'm not clear what his wages are - at £50k I'd sign him up, at £100k I'd let him go.
Sale Value: £5m

Mark Noble (CM, 32)
The club captain has just got a contract extension, so he's clearly going nowhere.
Sale Value: £5m

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Pedro Obiang (CM, 27)
It's pretty much an open secret he wants to go, and I think that suits all parties at this stage. The potential fee is a real guess because he's on a long contract and what really is the market interest now? We've probably missed turning a better profit on him.
Sale Value: £6m

Angelo Ogbonna (CB, 31)
He blows very hot and cold and is on a nice, fat, long contract during his decline. This is such a bollocks-up in terms of squad management, because in a way we do need a veteran option but I'd like a better one!
Sale Value: £5m

Lucas Pérez (FW, 30)
Another who should have gone in January. Signing Perez was a decent attempt at a cut-price option up front, but it so clearly didn't work out. At the age I think you just cut your losses and move on.
Sale Value: Nominal

Winston Reid (CB, 30)
Reid is a drain on resources because of serious injury. I don't see how you could ever sell so we just have to wait and hope he comes back and can contribute. Contracted here until 2023!
Sale Value: Nominal

Declan Rice (DM, 20)
Of course we want to keep Declan, he's already a talismanic figure. The question is what outlandish price you might accept. With the right price, it could be a game-changing amount to invest in a squad that needs it, ie not a negative at all!
Sale Value: £80m

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Carlos Sanchez (DM, 33)
Carlos has been injured and you almost certainly can't sell him. He only has 12 months left on his deal. It's not worth getting too upset about - if he contributes further, fine. But the club has to write him off and shouldn't let him influence decisions on strengthening the midfield.
Sale Value: Nominal

Robert Snodgrass (RW, 31)
Snodgrass will be 32 in September. He's been useful filling in across the midfield and has 12 months remaining on his deal. Do you let him play out the last year as a utility player? It sunds like he's a positive influence around training, dressing room etc. It's either that or a token fee.
Sale Value: £4m

Jack Wilshere (27, AM)
Jack has two years remaining on his deal, and he's pretty much unsellable in this state. I don't see another option than just getting him fit and seeing what he can do on the pitch. It's easy to get frustrated with this, but he is still a top player when fit. It could still work out.
Sale Value: Nominal

Andriy Yarmolenko (RW, 29)
It's really hard to assess Yarmolenko. I thought he was dreadful on the pitch, but he did score a couple before the injury. No doubt the club will soldier on with him. And who buys him in this state and on such a high wage?
Sale Value: £7.5m

Pablo Zabaleta (RB, 34)
Pablo has stuck in there and deserves some credit for that, but he's running in treacle and if teams exploited that more he'd be borderline unplayable. And we need to move on.
Sale Value: Out of Contract

Of the 30 players I have listed above, only 11 of them I actually 'value' in eight figures! I find that incredible...

* Alex V is the founder of long-running Hammers website West Ham Online. You may follow Alex on Twitter at @ratfootalex.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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